They both explain below why Kate Bush is their personal Hero. They each wrote their piece without any prior discussion or collaboration. Their accounts are astonishly similar and go to show that great artists are timeless and celebrated by music lovers of all ages for exactly the same reasons.
Kate Bush is unique. I’m pretty sure that in centuries to come she will still be revered in the same way we like to refer to history’s great classical composers. Somebody who has little or no concern in creating for the now, but instead is a driven, creative force totally governed by the possibilities of transcending time and space through the power of music. Wow! It’s deep!
Due to our familiarity with many of her best-loved songs, it’s become too easy to take Kate’s music for granted. But when you really take time out to listen, the outer melodic shell of her songs fall away to reveal an intensely personal and other-worldly spectre, unusually phrased compositions that are just so unlike any other artist who has succeeded through the medium of pop music. And we’ve come to expect this from Kate and wonder why she doesn’t release albums every-other year. This is not product. This is a gift. It really is.
Like many others, my first encounter with Kate Bush would have been one unsuspecting Thursday evening in early 1978 when Wuthering Heights made its debut on Top Of The Pops. I would have been no more than ten years old-but her performance resonated with me on a still largely unfathomable level. Over the years I have bought every release, with 1982’s often derided The Dreaming remaining a particular favourite. Songs like Suspended in Gaffa and Get Out Of My House are still both disquieting and intriguing in equal measure. When I was fifteen I wrestled with this album for months on end and now every note is indelibly etched into my brain…
Hounds of Love and The Sensual World both became commercial highpoints but Kate responded by disappearing into the shadows, shunning the spotlight in order to protect the music. 1993’s The Red Shoes included the sublime Moments of Pleasure but wasn’t particularly well received and Kate Bush vanished amid whispers and rumours.
Returning with the colossal Aerial in late 2005, it turned out that the twelve years of radio silence had been due to Kate simply wanting to devote time and energies to bringing up her young son Bertie-a move so simple and selfless that you have trouble imagining any another pop-star taking such a long time away from the spotlight. But Kate never craved the glittery baubles and her self-imposed exile proved this emphatically.
I was one of the lucky ones to witness the jaw-dropping Before The Dawn live show in 2014 and I smiled at the fact that my teenage wish to see Kate Bush perform live had been granted thirty-four years after I originally made it. Sometimes life’s good that way, isn’t it?
And so we arrive at today where Kate’s music has continued with 2011’s Director’s Cut re-imagining of older songs and 50 Words For Snow plaintive, wintry textures, all released on her own label and on her own terms. There are very few artists who can claim such autonomy in the music industry, yet Kate makes this look easy.
And as for the future? Well, I hope there will always be another new Kate Bush album to look forward to-but if there isn’t I’ll simply backtrack and start again, for there is always so much to discover in her unparalleled body of work.
Kate Bush-a true vinyl revolution hero!
My first encounter with Kate Bush's music lead me to question just what world this woman came from? She seemed otherworldly, slightly mental, totally crazy - needless to say I was hooked. "Wuthering Heights" was my introduction - and what an introduction! The craft of the song, the vocals soaring like a bird on the wind, and those dance moves! Utterly fantastic - utterly one of a kind.
Bush also astonishes in the album format - from her incredible debut "The Kick Inside" (surely a strong contender for one of the best debut albums!) The journey continues through "Never For Ever" packing in some of my all-time favourite Kate Bush songs like "Babooshka", "Egypt" and "The Wedding List", and off into "Hounds Of Love" with the hit "Running Up That Hill" and the wistful "And Dream Of Sheep". She even managed to upstage Peter Gabriel on his own album "So" by making "Don't Give Up" the highlight of the album with her delicate and beautiful performance.
She has become one of the most sought-after live acts of our time, famously having not toured for 35 years. Why? Because she didn't want to. You won't find any of her albums reissued on vinyl either, for much the same reason; this is a woman who has absolute control over her music, her life and her destiny, and it is truly awe-inspiring. No amount of money or fame can sway her from her chosen path, and what a path it is and continues to be.
So is she from another world? Almost disappointingly she is not, but through her music she has created the weird and wonderful world that myself, and so many fans, are happy to visit by listening to her music, just to spend some time with the wild-eyed songstress who made a deal with God.